Behind The Shot: Delta Airlines

Behind The Shot: Delta Airlines

Photo: © Pamela Oliveras

We love seeing winning ImageBrief shots out and about, and when we spotted this snapshot of the perfect NYC scene in Midtown Manhattan, now the face of a worldwide Delta Airlines campaign, our excitement just couldn’t be contained! This is what ImageBrief is all about: connecting the best of the best from both ends of the creative process and letting the magic happen.

Not surprisingly, we couldn’t resist getting in touch with the photographer, Pamela Oliveras, for a play by play of her process, from the first spark of inspiration to the point of sale on the ImageBrief platform. Thanks for chatting with us, Pamela, and congratulations!

Tell us about when and where you were when this shot was taken.

This shot was taken in June 2012 in NYC. I was wandering around Manhattan with my camera and a 50mm just taking some street shots around nine pm.

Did you realize right away that you had captured the moment so perfectly?

I saw the woman and could see her swirling skirt, the cool patterns on her dress, her stilettos – just her whole stance was so New York and the light was cool. All of these observations happened in a microsecond of course. So, in a way, yes, I knew this HAD to be shot and I’m very glad I did take the photo. Sometimes, I can be hesitant or just not in the mood to spontaneously shoot but if I ever am like that – I say to myself, ‘this is a one moment thing, how bad do I want the shot that I am visualizing in my head.’

What is your favorite element of this photo?

The New York-iness of it. The movement and energy. The color and vibrancy. You can feel the soul in it and to me that is what photography is all about.

What was it like seeing your photo in an actual Delta ad?

OMG! Talk about high on life! It was like a dream come true! I am very passionate about photography and it felt so great – like my vision and photography as an art being represented. I used to joke when I lived in Japan that one day I will have my photo on a billboard up in NYC – so it’s kind of funny. It really gives a person a boost to know that what they are doing is what they are supposed to be doing. To so many it’s just a photo of a woman hailing a cab. To me, it means the world. My niece saw the ad in NYC and tagged me on Instagram and I was like – it’s real! My family thought it was super cool too. Always good for kids to see that their mom is doing what she loves and getting paid for it too. A good lesson.

Talk about the ImageBrief experience – what about the platform versus other stock sites made this sale possible?

When I first applied and was accepted to ImageBrief I found it very different in a good way. Here were briefs that I could either find in old photos or shoot something for a brief. It challenged me to shoot more, even out of my normal realm and to see in a different way. It was almost like a fun game to me. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. But, you are never really losing because there’s always something to learn! I started uploading to ImageBrief at a time in my life where there was a lot of changes and losses going on so whether I was selected or not, it was a positive and fulfilling distraction. There’s always that chance your image will be selected, so I always pushed through with briefs even when I wasn’t getting shortlisted, etc.

For other stock sites, you upload stuff that you think fits as stock and then it’s either accepted or not. It’s more rigid, standard and one way, whereas ImageBrief flows. It is more challenging, edgy and communicative. Plus, the pay is real. I finally feel like I’m getting a fair price for my art.

For this particular shot, it was cool that a big company like Delta wanted something specific and decided to work with ImageBrief to look for that shot. I think it’s a more organic, artful way for a company to find what they are looking for by having photographers submit original, maybe never-before-seen works, rather than the company putting in searches to stock agencies for the type of shot they want. Still most likely finding a great shot that is bargain-priced for them but seen in other places so not so unique. When photographers see briefs, they may have a vision in their head straight away, being that we are visual people, so it works out great for companies who seek fun, alive photography rather than more stagnant, standard stock stuff.

When I saw the brief on the ImageBrief iPhone app, it was nearly midnight. I was in bed and it had five hours until it closed. But, the brief lit a fire in me. I thought to myself: OK, I can either get up and submit (and instantly my gut instinct was this shot because of the NYC theme and keywords ‘hustle’ and ‘move’ in the brief description) or I could just go to sleep. Luckily, I’m quite stubborn so I am VERY glad I got up and submitted! Trust your gut! And always push through for your passion.

Emma Banks is ImageBrief’s Photo & Content Editor. Previously she was a full-time freelance writer and photographer working in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her only qualm with Brooklyn is the serious lack of good TexMex. Follow her on Instagram, @emmacbanks.


About Emma Banks

Emma Banks is ImageBrief's Photo & Content Editor. Previously she was a full-time freelance writer and photographer working in New York City and Austin, Texas. Her only qualm with Brooklyn is the serious lack of good TexMex. Follow her on Instagram, @emmacbanks.